Jake Paul Offers to 'Immediately' Retire if UFC President Dana White Meets Three Demands

© AFP 2022 / CHANDAN KHANNAYouTube personality Jake Paul attends the fight between his brother Logan Paul and former world welterweight king Floyd Mayweather in an eight-round exhibition bout at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida on June 6, 2021.
YouTube personality Jake Paul attends the fight between his brother Logan Paul and former world welterweight king Floyd Mayweather in an eight-round exhibition bout at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida on June 6, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.01.2022
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Jake Paul has turned the boxing world upside down. The former YouTuber-turned-boxer has earned millions and become a must-see draw, and now he has the UFC and Dana White in his sights.
Internet figure Jake Paul tweeted on Saturday that he would immediately retire from boxing and fight Jorge Masvidal in the UFC if UFC President Dana White agreed to three forward-thinking demands.
Paul’s first demand of White is to increase minimum fighter pay to $50,000, claiming it currently stands at just $12,000. His second demand is to guarantee UFC fighters 50% of annual revenue - he noted that the UFC generated an estimated $1 billion in revenue in 2021.
His third demand is for the UFC to provide fighters with long term health care, citing White’s previous comments on brain damage and how former fighters have said they suffer from the effects.
Paul then informed White that he has five days to accept his demands, and until March 5 to implement them. The bargaining chip that Paul offers is his offer to fight Jorge Masvidal. Paul’s boxing events have done significant business, particularly as he is an amateur.
The YouTuber's first fight with Tyron Woodley reportedly sold over 500,000 pay-per-views, and his fight with Ben Askren snagged an estimated 1.5 million PPV sales. Although Paul’s pull could be waning, his rematch with Woodley reportedly only pulled in 65,000 PPV sales, a figure Paul disputes. He previously conceded it was “not my best business night.”
Paul’s tweet is thought by some to be a ploy to drum up more interest in his next event, whether it’s in the UFC against Masvidal or against another opponent. Paul’s demands, however, even if they are for his own benefit, have merit, according to many.
According to the International Business Times, UFC fighters can make as little as $10,000 per fight or as much as $3 million. The report indicates that there are three tiers of compensation for UFC fighters.
The bottom tier earns between $10,000 to $30,000 per fight, the middle tier earns between $80,000 and $250,000 per fight, and the highest tier takes home between $500,000 and $3 million per fight.
The report found that in 2020, the average UFC fighter took home $147,965 per bout. However, only 38% of the members made more than six figures.
Paul’s request for White to increase the bottom tier’s compensation is worthy criticism, according to some, and it plays nicely with his next demand that the UFC split their revenue 50-50 with their primary asset, the performers.
© REUTERS / STEVE MARCUSDana White, President of the UFC before the weigh-in, July 9, 2021
Dana White, President of the UFC before the weigh-in, July 9, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.01.2022
Dana White, President of the UFC before the weigh-in, July 9, 2021
Due to a lawsuit that alleges monopolistic practices by the UFC, there is now more detailed and publicly available salary and revenue data to comb through. Dr. Hal Singer, through court testimony, revealed that fighters have received anywhere between 19% to 20% of UFC revenue since 2011. Singer went as far as to say that UFC held a “long-term 20% of revenue assumption” for their participants.
Paul asking White to split revenue 50-50 with the members would represent a seismic shift in the UFC bottom line. Other prominent MMA leagues, including Strikeforce and Bellator, share their revenue much more evenly with participants, with the former sharing 63.0% over its final years and the latter 44.7%.
The UFC is projected to see steady growth through commercial sponsorships and new licensing deals. Morgan Stanley expects the company to see 8% growth in 2022 and bring in over $1 billion in revenue.
White has become increasingly agitated by questions of player pay. Many suggest that the CEO of UFC would like to keep the company’s share of revenue at its current percentage.
The UFC president told MMA Junkie in September, 2020, in reference to questions about fighter pay, “It’s none of your business how much it is. That’s it. I mean, that’s what people are always asking about. You know, ‘What about this? What about that?’ Listen, if you don’t like how we run our business, go start your own.”
When pressed on the subject, White became agitated, adding, “Too f**king bad. Go start another MMA organization and you go f**king figure out how to do it, and you can pay them $10 million a fight, $30 million a fight – whatever you want to do. We run a business. We’ve been very good at it. Not only do we run the business, we continue to grow the sport and take everybody along with us.”
White has repeatedly told those that question UFC participant compensation to start their own MMA league. According to observers of the sports entertainment network the ongoing allegations of antitrust amount to a bad faith argument against the UFC.
The final demand of Paul’s, to provide UFC fighters past and present with long-term health care, is a topic the US National Football League knows all too well. CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a degenerative brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head.
Although there is ample anecdotal medical evidence, precise biological links between CTE and MMA have yet to be rigorously studied. Rates of CTE seen in football and boxing, however, indicate that former participants in the network’s shows could be at an increased risk of developing serious long-term health complications.
The NFL faced a massive lawsuit from former players who sued the league for hiding the danger of concussion. While it is unknown whether the UFC is hiding health information from its members, without long-term health care many former participants could experience costly major health issues.
Paul’s challenge to White and his UFC is, according to some opinions, as opportunistic as it is inspired. The UFC reportedly has financial resources to better support its performers in the present and into the future. It’s not clear whether White will address Paul’s requests.
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